Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 14:14 UK

Violent crime drop in Strathclyde

Figures for carrying on offensive weapon fell by a quarter

Scotland's largest police force has recorded a significant drop in violent crime in the past year.

Strathclyde Police said murders had fallen by more than a quarter with attempted murders down 15%.

Serious assaults dropped by more than 11% with robberies down 14%. Statistics for carrying an offensive weapon also fell by more than a quarter.

The force said the recorded drop in these crimes represented a saving to the taxpayer of more than £26m.

The figures are contained in the Strathclyde Police annual report.

Between 2009/2009 and 2009/2010, they show murders, including culpable homicide, fell from 60 to 44 with attempted murders down from 344 to 291.

Recorded serious assaults decreased from 3,772 to 3,333 with robberies down from 1,815 to 1,556.

Until we do something about our drink culture, we will never be able to allow our communities to break free from the circle of violence
Chief Constable Stephen House

The time period also saw statistics for carrying an offensive weapon drop from 2,808 to 2,090, and from 2,660 to 2,236 for carrying a bladed/pointed instrument.

The number of common assaults, however, increased from 33,994 to 34 779.

Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House said the figures showed what could be achieved with more officers on the streets.

"For too long communities have been blighted and families left devastated by violence and we should all welcome the fact that there is less violence in Strathclyde than there has been for the last few years," he said.

"While it is good news that the figures are falling, there is no doubt that there is still too much violence in the west of Scotland."

Mr House said alcohol was "the number one factor in violence" across the area, and the country as a whole needed a "serious debate about the amount of cheap booze that is making its way into the hands of our young people.

"Until we do something about our drink culture, we will never be able to allow our communities to break free from the circle of violence," he said.

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